Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Cyclocross season is in full swing. The days at work fly by and it's a rush to get home and get a ride in. Riding home evenings, dusk coming too early, a dry dusty smile, cleaning bikes, replacing parts, obsessing over schedules, training, waiting. Head down I turn the pedals over and over. Tired aching legs and soreness find their way into my daily routine. I am getting ready. It's early I tell myself, one more interval, push it harder. It's all a big game to be sure, but it's one that drives me, keeps me motivated, keeps me dedicated and pushing myself to be better.
The national cyclocross championships will be in Bend this December and I want to know that I have done everything I can to be ready, to compete. I try to be realistic, I am not a pro, I don't have a coach, I am doing this for fun. Riding my bike is what I choose to do with the spare time I have. Maybe it would be different if all I had to do was ride my bike. I find a lot of inspiration in the riders who like me (and there are many) find time to balance the dedication it takes to compete with full time jobs and families. I was reminded of this reading a recent Velonews article about Jake Wells who had an amazing performance at Crossvegas. The article made some great points abouts the "working class" racer. I really am in awe of the riders that do it on their own and make it work. Molly, Tonkin, Shep...(and so many others). I can always look to these riders for inspiration and to push me to go after them. They aren't superhuman, but they are dedicated individuals that decided this is what they would do, chase the dream. Right on!
An excerpt from the article...
Professional bike racing in the U.S. is different from just about every European country. When they say "pro" there, it means everyone in the race makes money doing it.
Not so in the U.S. For some, becoming a professional means little more than cherry picking a few smaller races and paying USA Cycling $150 for an elite license. It was easy to see the differing ability levels at CrossVegas, as almost half of the field ended up lapped.Being a working class racer, myself, I have a special place in my heart for those guys who can race well without the support the big guys have. I have a great appreciation for the Erik Tonkins, John Bakers and Molly Camerons of our sport.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Serena and I packed up the wet gear and headed to her dads place...we didn't really get in till around midnight, but there was no rush the next morning as the races weren't till the afternoon.
Sun was about as opposite weather from Sat as could be. Perfectly clear, blindingly blue, and warm. Warming up on the course I knew I was in for some torture. It was dry and fast. The "Knapp Time" run up definitely lived up to its reputation. That sucker is steep and long and no fun when you are running up it for the 8th time. The rest of the course was a mix of technical descents with lots of loose gravel and tricky corners, some climbing, and flat grass sections that were really windy. I had a decent start, but went backwards after some of the climbing and running. I found myself riding alone between a fast group in front of me that I couldn't bridge up to and a bunch of stragglers behind me. I realize I have a tough time when I am riding solo and there's nobody really pushing me and no wheel I am chasing. It was tough. I wasn't really sure if I was going all out and I just rode my race till Page and Huele came around me with 2 to go and again I was pulled, this time only about 100 yards from going out on the last lap...ah well. A good workout to say the least. It was a long drive home, a late night, and a tough Monday, but well worth it. I know going into the weekend I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into, but I think it was a good experience and definitely helped me see where I need to be for the rest of the season and ol' cyclocross nationals in Dec here in Bend.
Time to step it up!
Complete Star Crossed results for all categories are HERE.
Complete Rad Racing GP results for all categories are HERE.